War in Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky calls on the whole world to demonstrate

A school destroyed by shelling in Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine, March 23, 2022. (©AFP/FADEL SENNA)

in President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky made a fiery appeal to the citizens of the world oppose the Russian invasion of his country, a months before the day after it started and hours away from a series of summits in Brussels on Thursday between Western leaders.

“Forward with Ukrainian symbols to defend Ukraine, defend freedom, defend life!” “I launched Mr. Zelensky on the night of Wednesday to Thursday through a video message in English. “Meet in the squares, on the street, show yourself and declare yourself! »

Speak up, demonstrate from your offices, homes, schools and universities, demonstrate for peace! The world must stop the war.

Vladimir ZelenskyPresident of Ukraine
Inside the ruins of a bombed-out school in Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine, on March 23, 2022.
Inside the ruins of a bombed-out school in Zhytomyr, northern Ukraine, on March 23, 2022. (©AFP/FADEL SENNA)

Three summits in Brussels

As the Russian invasion enters its second month, three summits – NATO, the G7 and the European Union – await Western heads of state and government in Brussels in one day.

According to the White House, it will primarily focus on consolidating the already adopted sanctions arsenal, preventing attempts to bypass Moscow and strengthening NATO’s position in Eastern Europe in the long term.

“We would like to hear that this general hardness that we have seen over the past month will last as long as it takes,” said Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to US President Joe Biden, who arrived in the city on Wednesday evening. , the Belgian capital, and who then should go to Poland on Friday.

New sanctions

Washington is also due to announce Thursday “a set of sanctions that target both politicians” and “oligarchs,” Mr. Sullivan said.

NATO will deploy four new battlegroups in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia to bolster defenses against Russia on its eastern flank, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Supporters of Ukraine demonstrate against the Russian invasion at Grand Central Station in New York, March 23, 2022.
Supporters of Ukraine demonstrate against the Russian invasion at Grand Central Station in New York, March 23, 2022. (©AFP/Ed JONES)

Arms deliveries

President Zelensky is due to speak via videoconference at the summits in Brussels. On Wednesday, his chief of staff urged Westerners to provide Ukraine with “offensive weapons.”

Shortly thereafter, welcoming the “extremely courageous” resistance of the Ukrainians, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the delivery of an additional 6,000 anti-tank missiles to Kiev. London has already delivered 4,000 of these weapons to Ukraine.

Sweden and Germany, for their part, announced the delivery of 5,000 and 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, respectively. Ukrainian forces have already received 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger-type anti-aircraft missile launchers taken from the reserves of the Bundeswehr, the German army.

“War crimes”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused Russia of “committing war crimes in Ukraine.”

“We have seen many credible reports of indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately directed against civilians, as well as other atrocities,” he said in a statement, stressing that responsibility will be determined by the courts.

Mr. Zelenskiy said on Wednesday that some 100,000 people are still trapped in the ruins of Mariupol, a major besieged city in the country’s south, “without food, without water, without medicine, under constant shelling.”

Nurses cry as they discover the damage done to a psychiatric hospital in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, following a Russian bombing on March 23, 2022.
Nurses cry as they discover the damage done to a psychiatric hospital in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, following a Russian bombing on March 23, 2022. (©AFP/BULENT KILIC)

candles in the hospital

In Mariupol Hospital No. 1, patients are treated in cellars by candlelight, the City Council reported.

Candles remain the main source of light. They try to save fuel as much as possible, so diesel generators are only used for complex operations,” the council said in a Telegram message, adding that 600 to 700 local residents have also taken refuge in this hospital.

The conflict is also deadly for Russian forces, which have already lost between 7,000 and 15,000 soldiers in Ukraine, according to a senior NATO official, based in part on information from Ukrainian authorities and Western intelligence agencies.

The Russian invasion “has stalled, despite all the destruction it causes day after day,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

defensive positions

According to Washington, the offensive of the Russian army has stalled in several directions, in particular, in the Kyiv region.

“The Ukrainians managed to push the Russians back 55 kilometers east and northeast of Kyiv,” a senior Pentagon official told reporters on condition of anonymity. “It’s not that they’re not moving forward, it’s that they’re not trying to move forward. They are in defensive positions,” he added.

Having failed to capture the big cities, the Russian army continues to bombard them. In Kyiv on Wednesday, as a result of a new strike in the parking lot of a shopping center, one person was killed and two were injured, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. Earlier in the day, four people were injured in building explosions.

3.6 million Ukrainians left the country

Russian journalist Oksana Baulina died as a result of shelling of Kyiv on Wednesday, according to the online media for which she worked. insider.

More than 3.6 million people have left Ukraine since February 24, according to UN data released on Wednesday. In total, about ten million people, about a quarter of the country’s population, were forced to leave their homes.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly is expected to adopt a new resolution on Thursday to “demand” Russia an “immediate” end to the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the embassies of the countries involved in the crisis continue to empty. On Wednesday, Russia decided to expel US diplomats in retaliation for Washington’s expulsion of 12 members of the Russian mission to the UN.

Fighting in Ukraine.
Fighting in Ukraine. (©AFP/Clea PECULIER)

Source: © 2022 AFP

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